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Biblical Greek (Beginners): 04. Third declension, plosive consonants + sigma, pronouns

In this lesson, you will learn about the last declension covering all of the words which do not belong to the first and second declension. We will also show you a general overview of Greek pronouns.

Third Declension

Words not ending with α, η or ο are inflected according to the third declension. Endings of the third declension are the following:

  m/f n
N sg. ς / - -
G ος ος
D ι ι
A αν -
 
  m/f n
N pl. ες α
G ων ων
D σι(ν) σι(ν)
A ας α

All words belonging to the third declension will always have distinct nominative case. It is not therefore possible to guess its form as it is also impossible to determine its gender. We will always have to check within the dictionary.

Some words might end with a special set of consonants. These consonants are called plosive. They are morphed in a different way than usual.

Words with Plosive Consonants

In general observation, what is happening is that in N sg., and D pl., we have to join to a word ending beginning with the letter sigma. However, if a word root ends with one of the consonants enlisted below, both of the letters will be contracted into one. This happens only to word roots ending with a plosive consonant. Let's see all of such cases below.

Labials plus sigma morphs into ps: π, β, φ + σ = ψ (model Ἀραψ Arab)

Ἀραψ + - οἱ Ἀραβ + ες  
του Ἀραβ + ος των Ἀραβ + ων  
τῳ Ἀραβ + ι τοις Ἀραψ + ι(ν)  
τον Ἀραβ + α τους Ἀραβ + ας  

Dentals plus sigma morphs into sigma: τ, δ, θ + σ = σ (model ἐλπις hope)

ἐλπις + - αἱ ἐλπιδ + ες  
της ἐλπιδ + ος των ἐλπιδ + ων  
τῃ ἐλπιδ + ι ταις ἐλπις + ι(ν)  
την ἐλπιδ + α τας ἐλπιδ + ας  

Velars plus sigma morphs into ks: κ, γ, χ + σ = ξ (model word σαρξ flesh)

σαρξ + - οἱ σαρκ + ες  
του σαρκ + ος των σαρκ + ων  
τῳ σαρκ + ι τοις σαρξ + ι(ν)  
τον σαρκ + α τους σαρκ + ας  

Model for Neuters

Third declension neuters might end with the letter τ. What happens here is that τ cannot terminate a word and thus annihilates (drops out). In the case of root ending with –ματ, τ drops out like this: ὀνοματ + nothing → ὀνοματονομα. For model word πνευμα (spirit) we have these forms:

το πνευμα + - τα πνευματ + α  
του πνευματ + ος των πνευματ + ων  
τῳ πνευματ + ι τοις πνευμα + σι(ν)  
το πνευμα + - τα πνευματ + α  

Pronouns

There are no special rules for pronouns. They are just words you have to learn. Some of them are inflected according to one of the declensions we have learned.

However, let us mention one general observation. In the case of neuter pronouns, both nominative and accusative drop out the letter ν off the end of the word. This is very typical of neuter gender.

Exercises to practice all of the pronouns mentioned below, can be found in the exercises section of this lesson. Mastering these pronouns is not necessary at this point. Eventually, you will learn them gradually with your further study and reading. Take this as a general reference you can return to whenever you need.

a) Personal (ἐγω, συ, ἡμεις, ὑμεις, αὐτος)

  N G D A
I ἐγω ἐμου ἐμοι ἐμε
you συ σου σοι σε
he αὐτος αὐτου αὐτ  αὐτον
she αὐτη αὐτης αὐτ αὐτην
it αὐτο αὐτου αὐτ αὐτο
  N G D A
we ἡμεις ἡμων ἡμιν ἡμας
you ὑμεις ὑμων ὑμιν ὑμας
they (m.) αὐτοι αὐτων αὐτοις αὐτους
they (f.) αὐται αὐτων αὐταις αὐτας
they (n.) αὐτα αὐτων αὐτοις αὐτα

b) Possessive

Possessive pronouns are drawn from Genitive of personal pronouns: ἐμου = my, σου = your, αὐτου = his etc.

c) Demonstrative (οὑτος, αὑτη, τουτο)

Demonstrative pronoun οὑτος is translated as this (near) and ἐκεινος is translated as that (far). There are particular forms for each gender and case. For G through A the letter τ will appear at the beginning of the word.

  N G D A
m οὑτος τουτου ... ...
f αὑτη ταυτης ... ...
n τουτο τουτου ... ...
  N G D A
m ἐκεινος ἐκεινου ... ...
f ἐκεινη ἐκεινης ... ...
n ἐκεινο ἐκεινου ... ...

d) Relative (ὅς, ἥ, ὅ)

Forms of relative pronouns are drawn from the definite article by dropping the letter τ off the beginning of a word and by adding rough breathing mark. Their meaning is who, which.

Sg. N G D A
m ὅς οὗ ὅν
f ἧς ἥν
n οὗ
Pl.        
m οἵ ὧν οἷς οὕς
f αἵ ὧν αἷς ἇς
m ὧν οἷς

e) Interrogative and Indefinite (τίς, τις)

Both interrogative and indefinite pronouns are inflected by the third declension. They have exactly the same forms. The only difference is that indefinite pronouns loose their accent (τίς → τις). It is crucial to remember this slight change. Their meaning is:

  • interrogative (τίς): who, which, what
  • indefinite (τις): someone, something
Sg. N G D A
m/f τίς τίνος τίνι τίνα
n τί τίνος τίνι τί
Pl.        
m/f τίνες τίνων τίσι(ν) τίνας
n τίνα τίνων τίσι(ν) τίνα

f) Reflexive (ἐμαυτοῦ, σεαυτοῦ, ἑαυτοῦ)

Reflexives are inflected by the first and second declension. Their meaning is:

  • I: ἐμαυτοῦ, ῆς myself
  • You: σεαυτοῦ, ῆς yourself
  • He, she, it: ἑαυτοῦ, ῆς, οῦ self; his, her
Sg. G D A
m ἐμαυτοῦ ἐμαυτ ἐμαυτόν
f ἐμαυτῆς ἐμαυτ ἐμαυτήν
Pl.      
m ἑαυτῶν ἑαυτοῖς ἑαυτούς
f ἑαυτῶν ἑαυταῖς ἑαυτάς

g) Reciprocal (ἀλλήλων)

Reciprocals are inflected by the first and second declension. Their meaning is one another.

  G D A
m ἀλλήλων ἀλλήλοις ἀλλήλους
f ἀλλήλων ἀλλήλαις ἀλλήλας
n ἀλλήλων ἀλλήλοις ἀλλήλα

Assignments

Find and write down all words of the third declension and pronouns. Analyze these words and determine their case, gender and number. You can add a translation for the word (use dictionary).

1 Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. 2 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. 3 πάντα διʼ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν 4 ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων· 5 καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.

6 Ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος, ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ θεοῦ, ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης· 7 οὗτος ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός, ἵνα πάντες πιστεύσωσιν διʼ αὐτοῦ. 8 οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς, ἀλλʼ ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός.

9 ῏Ην τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν, ὃ φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον, ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον. 10 ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἦν, καὶ ὁ κόσμος διʼ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω. 11 εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν, καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον. 12 ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, 13 οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλʼ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν.

14 Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας. 15 Ἰωάννης μαρτυρεῖ περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ κέκραγεν λέγων· οὗτος ἦν ὃν εἶπον· ὁ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἔμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν, ὅτι πρῶτός μου ἦν. 16 ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἐλάβομεν καὶ χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος· 17 ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη, ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο. 18 Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

Exercises

Pronouns: Interrogative and Indefinite

These pronouns are declined by III. declension. Meaning of interrogative pronouns is: who, which, what; and of indefinite is: someone; anyone. Both are declined the same way, however in the case of indefinite there is a loose of accent (τίς → τις).

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